Digital Planet > Off the Charts > Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Leak: Twitter’s Decidedly Negative Reaction

May 16, 2022

Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Leak: Twitter’s Decidedly Negative Reaction

Note: This analysis is ongoing, and will be updated as events unfold closer to the announcement of the Court’s decision.

On January 22, 1973, Time magazine broke the news: the Supreme Court was set to legalize abortion in America. A Supreme Court clerk had leaked the information to the magazine, on the condition that it not be published until the ruling was made public by the Court. The Court’s announcement was delayed, and the Time piece was on newsstands hours before the decision was announced by the Court.

Nearly 50 years later, on May 2, 2022, Politico published a leaked draft majority opinion written by Samuel Alito, which strongly repudiated the 1973 decision. The reaction on Twitter was swift—and decidedly negative.

Men and women reacted similarly: disgust and sadness accounted for over ¾ of expressed emotions.

Reactions were seen across the country, but some states (mostly left-leaning) showed more engagement on Twitter than others.

Delaware had the highest ratio of negative to positive tweets, while Kansas had the lowest ratio. On average, blue states had a higher ratio of negative tweets than red states. In blue states, for every positive tweet, there were 56.2 negative tweets, in red states there were 40.9 negative tweets for each positive tweet.

While bluer states tended to show a higher level of engagement, the reactions were negative across all 50 states.

Read more about our methodology here.

Digital Pulse is a platform for measuring and understanding the public’s evolving sentiments and responses to breaking events. Conceived by Digital Planet as part of the IDEA 2030 initiative, Digital Pulse harnesses unstructured data to gauge the reactions of various online communities across the globe to key events. Data gathering and analysis were conducted by Ripple Research, an IDEA 2030 affiliate, under the direction and guidance of the Digital Planet team.

What patterns and insights do you see in these charts? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @dgtl_planet

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